The equation seems simple. Less work, less money = less kids. Sounds about right.
In Italian, the term is: calo delle nascite. Or, the decline in the nativity rate. A phenomenon 100% made in Italy.
The Italian numbers
Truth to be told, the alarm has been going off for years. Italian couples have less and less kids. Instead, more and more families decide that two is enough. To them, their partner is their family. And they don’t need or want anyone else.
The Italian organization ISTAT reported the statistics in 2019. Indeed, the decline in births is obvious. In 2019, the newborns were 420.084, 156.000 less than 2008. For seven years in a row, the numbers have been declining. This is especially true when the parents are both Italians. In fact, on average Italian women have one kid and the average age of new mothers is 31,3.
No marriage, more kids
Even in married couples, the births have decreased, accounting for 279.744 newborns. Meanwhile, the 33,4% of non married couples have kids. That’s actually a growth, since in 1995 this number amounted to 8,1%. In particular, this phenomenon is true in central Italy, where over 39% of newborns come from not-married couples.
In 2019, 62.918 kids were born from foreign parents. For years, Italian institutions counted on immigrations, to avoid the decline in births. But, for the first time, the births have decreased. In fact, back in 2018, they amounted to 72.472 kids.
So, it seems like the births are declining, no matter the social status or the nationality. Why?
The reasons for the decline in the natality rate
Avoiding any mansplaining on women and their independence, the reasons run deeper. They are rooted in the Italian past. But especially in its future.
For example, Italians don’t get married as much as they did. In 2014, there were only 189.765, a tiny number compared to the 246.613 of 2008. Also, Italians are old. Let’s consider the ratio between who is over 65 and the population between 25 and 64. In Italy, this ratio is 40%, compared to the 10% of Africa. And the number is expected to reach 80% by 2050.
Another cause is people staying longer with their families. Young couples rarely live together, away from their parents. That’s because jobs aren’t stable, nor are they easy to come. When they come, they are underpaid. And the rents are overvalued. Indeed, it’s a vicious circle in which, unfortunately, kids don’t fit.
Of course, there are many other reasons behind the decline in the natality rate. But many have to do with economical and financial uncertainty. And, with the pandemic, this negative trend can only continue.
Even the structure of the Italian family has changed. Find out more on this article: Italian Families, then and now.